Mário Soares

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His Excellency
Mário Soares
GColTE GCC GColL KE
Mário Soares Dec2008.jpg
Coat of arms of Portugal.svg
17th President of Portugal
In office
9 March 1986 – 9 March 1996
Prime Minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva
António Guterres
Preceded by António Ramalho Eanes
Succeeded by Jorge Sampaio
Prime Minister of Portugal
In office
9 June 1983 – 6 November 1985
President António Ramalho Eanes
Deputy Carlos Mota Pinto
Rui Machete
Preceded by Francisco Pinto Balsemão
Succeeded by Aníbal Cavaco Silva
In office
23 July 1976 – 28 August 1978
President António Ramalho Eanes
Preceded by Vasco de Almeida e Costa
Succeeded by Alfredo Nobre da Costa
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
12 October 1977 – 30 January 1978
Preceded by José Medeiros Ferreira
Succeeded by Vítor de Sá Machado
In office
15 May 1974 – 26 March 1975
Prime Minister Adelino da Palma Carlos
Vasco Gonçalves
Preceded by National Salvation Junta
Succeeded by Ernesto Melo Antunes
Minister without portfolio
In office
26 March 1975 – 8 August 1975
Prime Minister Vasco Gonçalves
Preceded by Ernesto Melo Antunes
Succeeded by Jorge Campinos
Secretary-General of the Socialist Party
In office
19 April 1973 – 13 November 1985
Preceded by Party created
Succeeded by Vítor Constâncio[a]
Personal details
Born Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares
(1924-12-07) 7 December 1924 (age 90)
Lisbon, Portugal
Political party Socialist Party
Spouse(s) Maria Barroso
Children João
Isabel Barroso
Alma mater University of Lisbon
Pantheon-Sorbonne University
Profession Lawyer
Historian
Professor
Religion Agnosticism[1]
Website Mário Soares Foundation
a. ^ António de Almeida Santos served as Interim Secretary-General from 13 June 1985 to 13 November 1985. Then, António Macedo took over from 13 November 1985, also on an interim basis, until 29 June 1986.

Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares, GColTE, GCC, GColL, KE (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈmaɾiu suˈaɾɨʃ]; born 7 December 1924), Portuguese politician, served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 1976 to 1978 and from 1983 to 1985, and subsequently as the 17th President of Portugal from 1986 to 1996.

Family[edit]

Soares is the son of João Lopes Soares (Leiria, Arrabal, 17 November 1878 – Lisbon, Campo Grande, 31 July 1970), Founder of the Colégio Moderno in Lisbon, Minister and then anti-fascist republican activist who had been a Priest for some time before marrying Elisa Nobre Baptista (Santarém, Pernes, 8 September 1887 – Lisbon, Campo Grande, 28 February 1955), Mário Soares's mother, at the 7th Conservatory of the Civil Register of Lisbon on 5 September 1934. His father also had another son by an unknown mother named Tertuliano Lopes Soares. His mother had previously been married and had two children, J. Nobre Baptista and Cândido Nobre Baptista. Mário Soares was raised as a Roman Catholic, but came to identify himself as a republican, laic and socialist.

Early life[edit]

Soares was born in Lisbon, Coração de Jesus neighbourhood, and graduated in History and Philosophy from the University of Lisbon. He became a university lecturer in 1957, but his activities in opposition to the dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar led to repeated arrests. He was active in resistance groups such as the Movement for Anti-Fascist National Unity and the Movement for Democratic Unity.

Soares began his studies at Colégio Moderno, owned by his father. There, for a short period he was taught Geography by Álvaro Cunhal, who would later became the towering figure of Portuguese Communism and one of Soares' greatest political rivals.

While a student at University, Soares joined the Portuguese Communist Party, being responsible for the youth section. In this capacity, he organised demonstrations in Lisbon to celebrate the end of WWII. He was first arrested by PIDE, the Portuguese political police, in 1946, when he was a member of the Central Committee of the Movement of Democratic Unity (Portuguese: Movimento de Unidade Democrática), at the time chaired by Mário Azevedo Gomes. Soares was arrested twice in 1949. On those latter occasions, he was the secretary of General Norton de Matos, a candidate for the Presidency. However, he became estranged from Norton de Matos, when the latter discovered Soares's Communist sympathies.

Soares married Maria de Jesus Barroso Soares, an actress, on 22 February 1949, while in the Aljube prison, at the 3rd Conservatory of the Civil Register of Lisbon. They have a son, the former Lisbon Mayor João Soares, and a daughter, Isabel Barroso Soares, b. 1951, who manages the Colégio Moderno.

Soares's multiple arrests for political activism made it impossible for him to continue with his career as a lecturer of history and philosophy. Therefore, he decided to study law and become an attorney.

Political activity during the Estado Novo[edit]

In 1958, Soares was very active in the presidential election supporting General Humberto Delgado. Later, he would become Delgado's family lawyer, when Humberto Delgado was murdered in 1965, in Spain, by agents of the dictatorship's secret police (PIDE).

In April 1964, in Geneva, Switzerland, Soares together with Francisco Ramos da Costa and Manuel Tito de Morais created the Acção Socialista Portuguesa (Portuguese Socialist Action). At this point he was already quite distant from his former Communist friends (having quit the Communist Party in 1951); his views were now clearly inclined to economic liberalism.

In March 1968, Soares was arrested again by PIDE, and a military tribunal sentenced him to banishment in the colony of São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea. His wife and two children, Isabel and João, accompanied him. However, they returned to Lisbon eight months later for in the meantime dictator Salazar had been replaced by Marcello Caetano. The new dictator wanted to present a more democratic face to the world, so many political prisoners, Soares among them, were released.

In the 1969 general election, which was rigged, the democratic opposition (whose political rights were severely restricted) entered with two different lists. Mário Soares participates actively in the campaign supporting the Coligação Eleitoral de Unidade Democrática or CEUD (Electoral Coalition for Democratic Unity). CEUD is clearly anti-fascist, but they also reaffirmed their opposition to Communism.

In 1970, Soares was exiled to Rome, Italy, but eventually settled in France where he taught at the Universities of Vincennes, Paris and Rennes. In 1973, the Portuguese Socialist Action became the Socialist Party, and Soares was elected Secretary-General. The Socialist party was created under the umbrella of Willy Brandt's SPD in Bad Münstereifel, Germany, on 19 April 1973.

Carnation Revolution[edit]

On 25 April 1974, elements of the Portuguese Army seized power in Lisbon, overthrowing Salazar's successor, Marcelo Caetano. Soares and other political exiles returned home to celebrate what was called the "Carnation Revolution."

In the provisional government which was formed after the revolution, led by the Movement of the Armed Forces (MFA), Soares became minister for overseas negotiations, charged with organising the independence of Portugal's overseas colonies. Among other encounters, he met with Samora Machel, the leader of Frelimo, to negotiate the independence of Mozambique.

Mário Soares, 1978.

Within months of the revolution however (and in spite of the April 1975 Constituent Assembly election results which gave victory to the Socialist Party and clearly favored the pro-democracy political parties), it became apparent that the Portuguese Communist Party, allied with a radical group of officers in the MFA, was attempting to extend its control over the government. The Prime Minister, Vasco dos Santos Gonçalves, was accused of being an agent of the Communists and a bitter confrontation developed between the Socialists and Communists over control of the newspaper República.

President Francisco da Costa Gomes dismissed Vasco Gonçalves in September 1975 and a failed far-left coup in late November ended with the far-left influence in Portuguese government and politics. After the approval of the 1976 Constitution, a democratic government was finally established when national elections were held in 25 April 1976.

Prime minister[edit]

The 1976 legislative election gave the Socialists a plurality of seats in the newly created Assembly of the Republic and Soares became Prime Minister. Deep hostility between the Socialists and the Communists made a left-wing majority government impossible, and Soares formed a weak minority government. Vast fiscal and current account deficits generated by previous governments forced Soares to adopt a strict austerity policy, which made him deeply unpopular. Soares had to resign from office after only two years, in 1978.

The wave of left-wing sentiment which followed the 1974 revolution had now dissipated, and a succession of conservative governments held office until 1983, with Soares' Socialist Party unsuccessful in the 1979 extraordinary elections and 1980 elections. Soares again became Prime Minister following the 1983 elections, holding office until late 1985. His main achievement in office was negotiating Portugal's entry into the European Economic Community. Soares almost single-handedly turned public opinion around, for Portugal at the time was very wary of integration into the EEC.

Presidency[edit]

Mário Soares during the campaign for the 1986 presidential election, in Muxagata, Foz Coa, Guarda district.

In the 1986 presidential election, Soares was elected President of Portugal, beating Diogo Freitas do Amaral by little more than 2%. He was reelected in 1991, this time with almost 70% of the vote. For most of Soares' two terms of office, Portugal was governed by the centre-right Social Democratic Party, led by Aníbal Cavaco Silva.

He devised the so-called Presidência Aberta (Open Presidency), a series of tours around the country, each addressing a particular issue, such as the Environment or a particular region of Portugal. Although generally well received by the public, some claimed that he was criticizing the government and exceeding his constitutional role. Others stated that the tours were in the style of medieval courts. Yet the name stuck for today's presidential initiatives of the same type.

Post presidency[edit]

  • Soares retired in 1996, but in 1998 he headed the Independent World Commission on the Oceans.
  • Soares is a member of the Club de Madrid, an independent organization of more than 80 former democratic statesmen from around the world. The group works to strengthen democratic governance and leadership.[2]
  • On 30 August 2005, he announced his candidacy to run for President in the election that occurred in 22 January 2006, when he was 81 years old. However, he lost the election to Aníbal Cavaco Silva and was even behind Manuel Alegre, receiving 14% of the vote. "The results went against my expectations. I accept this defeat with a feeling of mission accomplished, [...]" he said, conceding defeat. It was suggested (in RTP1 TV-Programme Prós e Contras, in March 2008), that one of the reasons for the weak vote could be the Portuguese were reluctant to elect any President for more than 2 terms (only allowed by the Portuguese Constitution of 1976 if non-consecutive).
Mario Soares attending a rally to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, 25 April 2014 in Lisbon.
  • He is also a member of the strongest Masonic lodge of Portugal.

After the general elections of Finland, 17 April 2011, Mário Soares, presented an opinion according of which Finland has changed into a extremely conservative country, where solidarity is unknown. Soares reminded the memory of Kalevi Sorsa comparing his generosity and those dwarfs, who now want to rule Finland, their ethical values and hostility against Portugal with great difference. According to Soares the Finns live in illusion believing that speculative markets and credit criminals can destroy nations with nine hundred years independent history.[3]

Honours and awards[edit]

National honours[edit]

N.B. According to "Ordens honoríficas portuguesas – Nacionais com Ordens Portuguesas"
Recipients :

Grand Master (9 March 1986 – 9 March 1996):

Foreign honours[edit]

N.B. According to "Ordens honoríficas portuguesas – Nacionais com Ordens Estrangeiras" :

to be completed

Foreign awards[edit]

In 1998, Soares won the International Simón Bolívar Prize of UNESCO.

In 2000, Soares received the North-South Prize of the Council of Europe.

He is an honorary member of the Club of Rome and a member of High Council of Francophonie.

He is Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Rennes 2 Haute Bretagne, Free University of Brussels and University of Bordeaux III2.

Electoral results[edit]

1986 Portuguese presidential election[edit]

e • d Summary of 26 January and 16 February 1986 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Mário Soares Socialist Party 1,443,683 25.43 3,010,756 51.18
Diogo Freitas do Amaral Democratic and Social Centre, Social Democratic Party 2,629,597 46.31 2,872,064 48.82
Francisco Salgado Zenha Portuguese Communist Party, Democratic Renovator Party 1,185,867 20.88  
Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo Independent 418,961 7.38
Ângelo Veloso[A] Portuguese Communist Party left the race
Total valid 5,677,525 100.00 5,882,820 100.00
Blank ballots 46,334 0.81 33,844 0.57
Invalid ballots 18,292 0.32 20,436 0.34
Total (turnout 75.38% and 77.99%) 5,742,151 5,937,100
A He left the race in favor of Salgado Zenha.
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

1991 Portuguese presidential election[edit]

e • d Summary of 13 January 1991 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round
Votes %
Mário Soares Socialist Party, Social Democratic Party 3,459,521 70.35
Basílio Horta Democratic and Social Center 696,379 14.16
Carlos Carvalhas Portuguese Communist Party, Ecologist Party "The Greens" 635,373 12.92
Carlos Marques People's Democratic Union 126,581 2.57
Total valid 4,917,854 100.00
Blank ballots 112,877 2.21
Invalid ballots 68,037 1.33
Total (turnout 62.16%) 5,098,768
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

2006 Portuguese presidential election[edit]

e • d Summary of 22 January 2006 Portuguese presidential election results
Candidates Supporting parties First round
Votes %
Aníbal Cavaco Silva Social Democratic Party, People's Party 2,773,431 50.54
Manuel Alegre Independent 1,138,297 20.74
Mário Soares Socialist Party 785,355 14.31
Jerónimo de Sousa Portuguese Communist Party, Ecologist Party "The Greens" 474,083 8.64
Francisco Louçã Left Bloc 292,198 5.32
António Garcia Pereira PCTP/MRPP 23,983 0.44
Total valid 5,487,347 100.00
Blank ballots 59,636 1.07
Invalid ballots 43,149 0.77
Total (turnout 61.53%) 5,590,132
Source: Comissão Nacional de Eleições

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.wook.pt/ficha/articles-on-portuguese-agnostics-including-fernando-pessoa-jorge-sampaio-mario-soares-ferro-rodrigues-manuel-alegre-jose-socrates-antonio/a/id/13803643
  2. ^ http://www.clubmadrid.org/en/miembro/mario_soares
  3. ^ http://www.kauppalehti.fi/5/i/mobiili/kl_mobiili/uutinen.jsp?oid=20110471549&ext=nwnd
  4. ^ Prime Minister of Malta Website, Honorary Appointments to the National Order of Merit

External links[edit]

Assembly seats
Preceded by
Position created
Member of the Constituent Assembly
from Lisbon

1975–1976
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
None, Parliament re-established
Member of the Assembly of the Republic
from Lisbon

1976–1986
Succeeded by
Title jointly held
Preceded by
Title jointly held
Member of the European Parliament
from Portugal

1999–2004
Succeeded by
Title jointly held
Party political offices
Preceded by
None, party created
Secretary-General of the Socialist Party
1973–1985
Succeeded by
Vítor Constâncio
Government offices
Preceded by
National Salvation Junta
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1974–1975
Succeeded by
Ernesto Melo Antunes
Preceded by
Ernesto Melo Antunes
Minister without portfolio
1975
Succeeded by
Jorge Campinos
Preceded by
José Medeiros Ferreira
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1977–1978
Succeeded by
Vítor de Sá Machado
Political offices
Preceded by
Vasco de Almeida e Costa (interim)
Prime Minister of Portugal
1976–1978
Succeeded by
Alfredo Nobre da Costa
Preceded by
Francisco Pinto Balsemão
Prime Minister of Portugal
1983–1985
Succeeded by
Aníbal Cavaco Silva
Preceded by
António Ramalho Eanes
President of Portugal
1986–1996
Succeeded by
Jorge Sampaio